Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Argument

"The new environmentalist consciousness makes us see landscape paintings as records of finite, fragile scenes...We are now more in touch with our dependence on nature and its dependence on us" (Malcolm Andrews, Landscape and Western Art).
This animation is a reflection on the significance of landscape traditions today. The relevance of landscape painting has changed as a result of extensive development: landscapes no longer signify a constant and stagnant haven but are burdened with guilt and nostalgia. Traditional landscape paintings depict a timeless scene, something you would expect to see upon returning to the represented location. As this is no longer perceived, I have created an ever-evolving landscape painting.
The landscape is integral to notions of national and personal identity, particularly in British traditions and ideas about heritage. David Lowenthal: "Nowhere else is landscape so freighted with legacy... nowhere else does the very term suggest not simply scenery and genres de vies, but quintessential national virtues."
Of all the reading I've done on landscape perception, I would recommend Simon Schama's 'Landscape and Memory' the most. It's amazing!
The tree in this animation is a mysterious and ambiguous symbol; it remains bizarrely untouchable to outside forces and acts as a time portal for the sleeping shepherd who leans against it. It symbolises the insignificance of human civilisation beyond our timescale.
Projecting the content or 'argument' onto a painted canvas creates a foil between materiality and digitality, emphasising the ephemerality of the digital image. I am very interested in exploring the manner in which artists and viewers alike relate physically to the digital image.
The entire animation is hand drawn and was compiled in Final Cut Pro.

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